The Raven Princess: Styled Wedding Inspiration

 In Styled Inspiration

Hey ladies! I have a really quirky bridal shoot to share with you today. The Raven Princess: Styled Wedding Inspiration depicts the metamorphosis of a sweet natured bride who becomes consumed with bridal greed and turns to the dark side

If you’re looking for alternative {and very pretty} bridal dresses, these stunning creations by Charlotte Wilden are the perfect choice. Let’s here from Charlotte and the team about the inspiration behind this very edgy bridal shoot.

The Raven Princess ~ bridal inspiration

The idea behind this shoot was to just have some fun, and try to something new! 
I discovered this great location on the edge of Wimbledon Common when I made some costumes for them a few years ago, and decided to call in a  favour . . . The Raven Princess ~ bridal inspiration

We knew that we wanted make a shoot where the bride had a split personality, a good and an evil side, maybe even a touch of bridezilla! Sabrina came up with the idea of a Raven Princess very dark and dangerous, and we had loads of fun creating inspiration boards for her looks and her personalities. The Raven PrincessThe Raven Princess ~ bridal inspiration

Gwenda’s beautiful floral rich arrangements were used for both the good and the evil princess, as they worked so well for each! I love to demonstrate that pieces are always so adaptable – just changing a few details can really transform a piece, and allows it to fit  many themes, rather than being put in a box!

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We were all excited about creating two looks which were very contrasting, one, very soft and romantic, and the other very harsh and angular – but the underlying feeling is that she has a greed which is always wanting to escape within both looks- such as when she is gorging on Laurence’s seductive red cakes, and dripping in crystals and pearls provided by Jinder.

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I asked 2 photographers to come along to the shoot, the brilliant Katherine and Hugh were absolutely amazing, really taking charge. They had clear visions which they had compiled in their own heads based on our inspiration boards, and were able to direct Helena, and scout out fantastic locations for photo’s throughout the venue which I would never have spotted, and it wasn’t until I saw the photograph images that I realised just how great the angles were! Such clever people!The Raven PrincessThe Raven PrincessThe Raven PrincessThe Raven PrincessThe Raven Princess

There is also no denying that Sabrina’s Hair and Make-up designs are just breath-taking. From the wild naivety of a tangle of curly hair, to the dramatic quiff, framed by tiny and intricate plaits, woven with black and oily feathers, each style  set the tone for the images and the ideas evoked in our collective minds.

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Doing styled shoots is a really great way to get to experiment with your style and play with the boundaries of your work. Brides today are so daring with their wedding styling that it’s important to explore beyond the realms of a traditional white wedding.The Raven PrincessThe Raven PrincessThe Raven PrincessThe Raven Princess

I’ve been specialising in wedding gowns for about 3 years, but previous to that I worked in Costume, and think I retain a little bit of theatre in my work.
I’ve worked at various luxury design houses in London and NewYork, and found that Bridal is much more suited to what I achieve in my work. Costume can be creative, but is cast aside quite quickly, a wedding gown is treasured from the moment of it’s conception and forever after.
I love hand finished details, making every dress very personal and unique, using vintage laces, hand embroidered and beaded designs, handmade fabric flowers, silk painting . . . . I love a creative challenge!

The Raven Princess
Thanks so much to everyone involved in this shoot, you’ve done an amazing job! And thank you too for sharing with WTW! I love the sequined black corset top, tulle white skirt with those green shoes and I’m terribly impressed with those origami cranes!

Brides, do you dare to be different? Are you thinking of an alternative style wedding or maybe even two bridal gowns? One sweet and demure for the day and a slightly more sultry and chic look for the evening?


Lots of Love,
XxX Sonia

and remember… keep wanting!!


Charlotte ~ I had a great team helping to organise and create the shoot . . . here are some words from them about their brilliant contributions to the day  . . .

KATHERINE FORSYTH photographer of weddings, couples, and all things pretty.

I’ve been in the wedding game since 2009, when I realised that weddings took all different types of photography – fashion, photojournalism, portraiture, products – and melded them into one amazing day where everyone is happy and in love, and therefore there were the best things to shoot! My favourite clients are the ones who can’t stop smiling, laughing and kissing, because their happiness really translates into a photo! I also really love it when my clients are not too traditional, and are keen to try fun things like climbing a tree, wading into the sea or lying down in a pile of leaves. And if their wedding has loads of fun, individual touches it really makes my day! I’m not really the “wedding in a ballroom with candelabras and chairs with organza sashes” kind of photographer. Take me to a glacier in Iceland, or a ceremony in the middle of an old desert ghost town, or a cliff top elopement with just you and your witnesses…that excites me!

I’ve been doing quite a few styled shoots lately, and they’ve got me really excited too. Mostly because they’re different to weddings, while still having the same prettiness (which, apparently, I crave) to work with. A styled shoot is so much more planned and less spontaneous than a wedding day, but at the same time you can still spot something and go, “I have a clever idea..what if we tried THIS?” And there’ll be time to do it, and willing participants, because a styled shoot is all about getting creative and creating a “wow” image, which often there isn’t time for, or interest in, on a wedding day. My favourite moment at this shoot was scouting locations with fellow Photographer Hugh Miller, and seeing a child-sized doorway, and knowing exactly what I wanted Helena to do in it! The words “broken-down doll” were used a lot, I recall.

I also loved that Sabrina and Charlotte created so many different looks: some bridal, some not at all. It was so much fun, and a great change, to work with a look that wasn’t supposed to be “pretty”, so I could get more edgy, angular expressions and poses from Helena. She looks so completely different in the beauty shots as opposed to the darker, raven-inspired shots, and it was fascinating to work with those looks to create a different style of photo to match.

HUGH MILLER, Professional Wedding Photographer

Working on a wedding I believe that a photographer should be very hands off. I like to work giving a minimum of direction and find that by working in this way people forget I have a camera. By working this way  your wedding will unfold naturally and the photographs of it will be truly stunning. I think those moments and emotions tell a fantastic story and need little direction.  

One of the reasons I so enjoy working on styled shoots is the chance to work in a different way, using light to create some real drama in my photographs. Something I love doing. For some reason the origami cranes we had here really caught my imagination and a particularly like the idea of them being played with as if they mean so little. These shots, and the shot of Helena looking like a broken down doll in the doorway are my favourite photos  from the day.


I spend a lot of my time working for a west end musical as a Wigs & Make-Up Artist, When I am not covered in green paint, I am happiest making someone look/feel completely beautiful.

I love weddings in general, however my natural style is very eclectic and I love to work with festival and vintage inspired brides.

A bride will normally have a trial with me after multiple emails, we create a look book together – a combination of photos of her dress, veil, accessories, photos of her and then photos of how she may like to have her hair and make-up. I then set up a schedule and stay in touch with skincare and haircare advice until the wedding day.

 It’s such a great collaborative effort, everyone is working equally as hard to get a great result. You get to meet some really talented and inspiring creatives. My love for origami has sky-rocketed after this shoot!

My favourite part (also scariest part) of the day was when Kat was brave enough to keep jumping over a lake to get the perfect shot of Helena, with her expensive camera equipment in her hands – I could barely watch!!

JINDER RAJA, Accessories

I love to work in a collaborative way where during the design process I am in regular contact with my client to ensure the end product is exactly how they envisioned.
My ideal commission is where the client has a clear idea of what they want but then allows me to put my creative spin on it in order to come up with something even better than they had first imagined it would be. I usually start with a consultation to gauge exactly what the client is after. I then provide them with various ideas of how this can be achieved. Actual work only begins once a deposit is taken.
 I love working with and getting to know other suppliers and people in the same industry. As I work from home it provides a way of showcasing my work to people at the same time as building strong networks and establishing relationships within the wedding industry.
I created two bracelets especially for the shoots using hundreds of glittering Swarovski Crystals, for the shoot, I was allowed to let my imagination and creative ideas run wild.

GWENDA WILKES, The Vintage Floral Design Co.

As my business name suggests, I specialise in ‘vintage’ wedding flowers – more specifically, this means that I use flowers which are in season and would have been obtainable in the era from which the wedding theme is derived and/or from the area the celebrations are located in.  I’m not averse to pushing the boundaries a touch, however – I adore a quirky or alternative theme – and I love to show how these flowers can still make a statement. I frequently use preserved flowers (as I did in this shoot), to create pieces in designs and colours that Nature had no necessarily intended! Artistically, I have always enjoyed working in mixed media – many a bouquet will be complemented by brooches, buttons, sea shells or other relevant (but perhaps unexpected) inclusions.

I feel that my most enjoyable commissions come when I can really get to know the bride well (and ideally the groom, too). I’ll have visited the venue/s and will have an insight into what their vision of the day really is. I love to work with the tried and tested vintage favourites – hydrangeas (my signature flower), peonies and roses…but I adore being given a creative challenge. I could think of a variety of ‘ideal’ situations for a wedding in all sorts of locations and with all sorts of themes – ultimately, a couple who wanted me to flex some major creative muscles would capture my imagination and my heart.

I will always endeavour to meet my clients face-to-face for the initial consultation. Sometimes, this isn’t possible, but I will still try to build a rapport and make sure I obtain as many details as I can with which to inform my designs. Often, this involves a bit of mind reading in order to interpret disparate ideas into a cohesive themed design plan, relevant to both the couple and also their venue. Fortunately, this is one of my strengths! Once the clients accept my quotation, I take a small retaining deposit to secure the day exclusively for them. About a month prior to the wedding, I ensure that all the details are reconfirmed and revised as required before payment is received in full. Most clients pay well in advance as they wish to get the necessary expenses ‘out of the way’ so they know where they stand, which is quite understandable. Having recently married, I’m all too aware of the potential budgeting pitfalls!

Styled shoots allow me to create pieces with greater creativity than the average wedding commission calls for. I will always try to make something unique, so my future clients can see the full range of my abilities. It is also a joy to meet new wedding industry professionals, as well as working with familiar faces – business mixed with pleasure – perfect!

I have a passion for hair garlands – the one I made for this shoot is one of my favourites. The colours worked so well with the surroundings and Helena’s incredible hair supported this statement piece like a dream.

Lauren Delpech, French Made Dessert Tables

My dessert tables are bespoke so unusual, alternative themes such as Victorian Gothic or Vintage Circus or anything that makes the couple unique are what I really love to work on, creating something truly personal to a couple, and letting me be stylish and indulgent with my designs.

Prices for my dessert tables start from £300, depending on how much clients want to put on it. They include a great selection of cakes and sweets such as madeleines, macarons, pies, tarts, tiered cakes, cupcakes, mini cakes, cannelés, biscuits, chocolate mendiants and financiers. We offer free consultation at our shop unit in Wood Street Indoor market, E17.
Clients may also want to order celebration or classic cakes separately (starting £15: chocolate fudge, a coffee and walnut or a carrot cake, a lemon drizzle or a Victoria sponge, a clafoutis, a strawberry shortcake or a black forest etc…
Or sets of favours (Starting £1.50). we can fill them in with sweets such as mints, jelly beans, mini marshmallows, sugared almonds, chocolate dragees etc… we design bespoke tags with names, date of the event, messages if any. We adapt ribbons, colours and charms to the theme.  
I love seeing a theme come together with other suppliers’ work. It allows you to meet other like-minded people and helps you find inspiration for your next pieces.
I especially loved the unique style of the venue and for this shoot and the photographers captured the feeling of the shoot perfectly.


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  • Lucy Williams

    Wonderful shoot! So unusual and I love how everything works together to create such a strong look. Beautiful!

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